Kohlhase ready for new sea­son

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

The Marist men’s soft­ball side is bank­ing on ex­pe­ri­ence to carry them through this sea­son.

Auck­land’s Fast­pitch Cham­pi­onship (AFC) gets un­der way to­mor­row with Marist up against the Mt Al­bert Ram­bles in their sea­son opener at War­ren Freer Park.

Coach Ed­die Kohlhase speaks highly of his team this year, most of his play­ers have in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Our out­field is ar­guably one of the fastest sets in New Zealand an­chored by Jerome Hare­tuku and Curtis Cosh,’’ Kohlhase says.

‘‘Our cap­tain Bernie Hale brings a wealth of knowl­edge and lead­er­ship to our tight-knit team and cou­pled with the en­thu­si­asm of our younger play­ers, I’m look­ing for­ward to a suc­cess­ful sea­son.’’

A good mix, that’s how Kohlhase de­scribes his side and with se­nior play­ers re­turn­ing from last year, they also have some new blood that he hopes will get far this sea­son.

‘‘We have a great mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence in our pitch­ing depth this year, led by veteran New Zealand and Samoan In­ter­na­tional Heinie Shan­non, Samoan in­ter­na­tional Greg An­der­son and New Zealand Ju­nior Black Sox pitcher Daniel Chap­man.

‘‘All of our in­field play­ers have rep­re­sented ei­ther New Zealand or Samoa at se­nior and Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships, so again there’s a mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and fledg­ling tal­ent.’’

Last sea­son, Marist placed sec­ond in the AFC, los­ing nar­rowly to Auck­land United. This year they want to do one bet­ter and have also set their sights on the New Zealand Club Na­tion­als.

‘‘A few of our young mem­bers have been play­ing over­seas in the New Zealand off-sea­son and are just re­turn­ing now so have been un­able to train with the team.

‘‘How­ever I’m keen to see the gains and knowl­edge they will have made whilst play­ing in many over­seas tour­na­ments and leagues.

‘‘Our main fo­cus this year will be to blood our younger play­ers and we will be us­ing the first half of the sea­son to im­ple­ment some ini­tia­tives and goals we have de­vel­oped as a group to pre­pare for the NZ Club Na­tion­als in late March, as this is the pin­na­cle event for all New Zealand teams.’’

The Marist v Mt Al­bert Ram­blers game gets un­der way at 3pm at War­ren Freer Park.

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